By Gisele Huff
In May 2019, I spent a week in New York City where I met Andrew Yang at his campaign headquarters, a small suite of almost bare rooms in a nondescript office building staffed by seven people. My reason for being there was because my late son, Gerald Huff, had been a very early supporter of Andrew’s and had enlisted me to do the same. By showcasing UBI as the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, Andrew transformed it from a little-known academic discussion to a mainstream, national topic of conversation.
Gerald died of pancreatic cancer in November 2018 at the age of 54, seven weeks after he was diagnosed. Reeling from my devastating loss, I founded the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity to promote UBI, a cause that Gerald was passionate about and that he incorporated in the techno-thriller he wrote, Crisis 2038, which was published posthumously. It can be downloaded free as an audiobook here: https://fundforhumanity.org/book/.
Gerald was an amazing human being in the full sense of those words. When it was clear that he was dying, the executive he reported to at Tesla where he was principal software engineer on the Model 3 team wrote this to him:
“I’m sure you know that you’ve built systems and software that have changed the world. But you should also know that the engineers you’ve mentored, the teams you’ve built, and the cultures you’ve shaped will continue to live on in your image for a long, long time.”
A close friend of Gerald’s from high school and college, who pursued a career in marketing and with whom I had dinner during my New York City visit, connected the Fund to practitioners who pitched in when it came to generating the strategic insights and ideas that ultimately resulted in the creation and launch of a UBI Public Service Announcement.
The result is a powerful, very professional video making the case that UBI is a dividend from the prosperity that all Americans created and continue to sustain as producers and consumers. It is a call to petition Congress to implement UBI for all our sakes, creating an economic security floor under which no American can fall.
The release of the video today, on January 14th, is especially timely when it is abundantly clear that events like the COVID pandemic can upend the lives of millions of Americans. UBI is the only way to insure that the next inevitable crisis doesn’t repeat that devastating experience (bear in mind that many people never recovered from the 2008–2009 financial crisis). This is exactly the right time to petition Congress, which already agreed to a second one-time stimulus check, to make the case for UBI.
Here is the link to the video: https://fundforhumanity.org/actnow/#video.
I am counting on all supporters of UBI to share the PSA and petition with their networks, not once but several times, during the 6 weeks the campaign will run. Join me in spreading the word. Join me in this fight.
WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN.